Jérôme, please introduce yourself to our JCM readers.
My name is Jérôme Bussière and I'm known as mejean in Joomla! Community. I’m French and I’ve 36 years old. I am married and have 2 young children. I live near Millau (about 120 km above Montpellier in the south of France) and his famous viaduct.
Currently I work in a regional natural Park in south of France after a job in the Pyrenees mountains. I love photography, my first hobby. I have several websites powered by Joomla! My first website was www.causse-mejean.net. The main site is currently www.cardabelle.net
How did you first learn about Joomla!?
I’m not a developer! I do not know HTML and PHP even less... In 2002, I looked for easy scripts (I wanted to write some code) for my first site. At this time, I discovered a description of Mambo 4.0 on a French CMS web site. I was seduced at once by its ergonomic interface, but it was only available in English. I’m not fluent with the English language! So, I opened a file and translated the language strings to my own language… :p
In 2003, two guys created the first French Mambo community website. At first I began to ask questions, a lot of questions! Step by step I began to solve other user’s issues. Then, shortly after that, I became a moderator. At this time, not many people knew this content management system (CMS) in France. At that time, I participated in the translation of the core, official announces or documentation…
Shortly before the famous “fork”, while Jean-Marie Simonet structured a team with the aim for the CMS internationalization, I became French-speaking moderator with his help on Mamboserver.com forum. In August 2005, I followed naturally the Dev team to help French users on the new forum. Since, I’m a simple moderator of the Joomla! forum (French-speaking section). Currently, I’m less active in the French community. People who are more competent took over…
Do you have any interesting stories about early Joomla! projects or websites that you worked on?
I’ve created several personal sites using Joomla! I use Joomla! for my work too. I'd wanted to create a professional network for a large project with several natural Parks. I developed the site www.trame-ecologique-massif-central.com without any professional help. In a previous job, I tried to use Joomla! for my employer. Professional consultants told him that Joomla was a tiny toy for hackers. Now I can laugh about it because of the variety of websites that use this CMS: For example, the website of the famous Versaille castle uses Joomla!
What caused you to decide to volunteer to help support the Joomla! project?
Joomla! helps me. So I help the Joomla! community. That’s the deal. In fact, I'm motivated to help others to discover Joomla!: The more Joomla! is being used, the more it will be maintained and developed. In the past, a period of unemployment also allowed me to invest more time for the support and the translation. Recognition is also a form of motivation: a community leader that contacts you for work or help, or often a simple thank you...
What different areas of the Joomla! project have you volunteered for, and what areas are you currently involved with?
I’ve volunteered for translation and support essentially in the French-speaking community. Last year, I was in the board of directors of the Joomla! French-speaking users association, our French JUG. Currently, I’m less active; I’m just involved with forum (the French language forum) and People.joomla.org moderation.
What goals do you have for improving the areas of Joomla! that you are currently volunteering with?
We try to animate the forum to manage daily new messages. We welcome newcomers and try to lead them first to the documentation or the various resources. Indeed, often when people post for the first time on a forum, it's because they have a problem. New users who don't break two or three rules in their first post are rare. It isn't very serious, we just remind them about the basic rules: Please read the Forum Rules!
A moderator helps users to ask their questions in a better way, and to point them to necessary information so that they better understand their problem. On Joomla.org, every forum is specific, nevertheless some are a little more open and people can give their opinion. Feedback and constructive criticisms are useful to develop the Joomla! project. Moderators must be impartial and not express their personal opinions. They have to make sure that user comments are correct, they have to warn people who don't respect the forum rules, and they have to inform the forum administrators so that they take measures when it is necessary...
What are some of the challenges you face in the areas of Joomla! that you are currently volunteering with?
The biggest part of the French Joomla! support is now done on the Joomla.fr website. However, I would like to constitute a team of regular users who are capable of giving French support on Joomla.org. People.joomla.org is not easy to moderate and there are not a lot of French-speaking people on that social network. I must confess, I do not actively moderate... The French-speaking community already had its own social network at Joomgroupe.fr. However I wish there would be more exchange between those two in the near future.
What do you enjoy the most about volunteering?
I have nothing to sell (except salads from my garden occasionally). I enjoy the communication and exchange of information with others, and the feeling of being useful... Maybe I imagine that sharing is possible in this world.
What do you find the most difficult or challenging about volunteering?
Many users wait for an answers to their problem. Some people take only the answers which we give them. Now, we are only volunteers and we are not always PHP or graphics experts. Support is not our job. Keep in mind that Joomla.org forum moderators and administrator spare no effort to allow everybody to have quality counseling. They will help you as far as they can. However they're not there to give answers to all questions. Their job is to encourage users to help out other users. The support, it's from the community.
What do you like the most about Joomla!?
Its end users! Seriously, I love Joomla! for its ergonomics, its ease of use. It's the key point of Joomla! Developer team understand it. It is necessary to be permanently tuned in to the community and especially the end users.
What would you personally like to learn more about which is related to Joomla!?
Who found this ridiculous name ? lol Well, currently there is much information about Joomla! on the Web. The JCM is a good way to synthesize information.
What opportunities for improvement would you like to see happen in the Joomla! project?
The management of access rights was an important request. It will come with Joomla! 1.6. What's more?... Perhaps a better end-user experience, an interface could always be easier to use, easier media management with thumbnail management or a little gallery for articles, some simple CCK improvements... I would wish to see the community increasingly active. Today it is much more professional. I hope that the community (and developers) will always listen to end users...
What would you say to someone who is thinking about volunteering to help with the Joomla! project?
Tonie Marie said: “I encourage everyone to read and answer as many questions as they can, because quite frankly that's the best way to learn. Answering the questions you know and reading the ones you don't will eventually make you a Joomla! expert.” (http://community.joomla.org/blogs/community/458-the-joomla-support-staff-stinks.html). You know, it's completely true. Even a beginner can make it. Then, If you are motivated, you can yet read Mark Dexter's article : “Six ways for newcomers to contribute to Joomla! (http://community.joomla.org/contributors/documentors/443-six-ways-for-newcomers-to-contribute-to-joomla.html). And, at least, you can improve your (bad) English language level... :-D
Could you tell our readers something about the French Joomla Community in general?
The French speaking community is now organized around Joomla.fr. It is now well structured. I enjoy the people and all active joomlers who make the website alive. I would especially like to thank Yann Giomèro, our very active president of the Joomla! French-speaking users association, for his involvement. You can join our French JUG on www.afuj.fr ;-)
I wrote an article about the short history of the French-speaking community on my website. Today this community is mature; It has reached the grown-up age and this is our biggest challenge: We need more volunteers !